Google Boosts Gmail For Android, iPhone

The tweaks show that Google is committed to improving the Web-based version of its e-mail service.

Marin Perez, Contributor

September 25, 2009

2 Min Read

Google continues to improve the mobile version of its e-mail service, and has made a few improvements to the Web-based Gmail for Android and Apple's iPhone platforms.

The company is bringing the "Move" feature from the desktop to the mobile phone, and users can now label and archive messages in a single step. This is achieved by moving an e-mail thread to a certain predetermined label. The Gmail inbox also automatically refreshes when users switch to it from another tab or application, and if the phone goes to sleep, the inbox will refresh when it wakes up.

The most recent improvements are not revolutionary, but show that Google is committed to improving the Web-based version of its e-mail service. In April, the company retooled Gmail for the iPhone and Android by using HTML5 and Gears to provide a faster experience even with intermittent data connectivity.

While both mobile platforms have native mail clients and apps that can be used to get Gmail on-the-go, the Web-based version does not require the end user to install software, and can be used as an icon on the phone's home screen. While mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular thanks to the success of the App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Google has said it believes the mobile Web will be vital in future app development because it is becoming too expensive to support and create programs for a wide variety of mobile platforms.

While Google is also motivated to move mobile users online, because this subjects more people to its lucrative Web advertising business, companies such as Palm and Nokia have also said the underlying mobile operating system is becoming less important than the layers on top, including those delivered through a browser.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the use of business software on smartphones. Download the report here (registration required).

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